Key Researchers in Talent Management and Diversity


The topics of talent management and cultural diversity in the sphere of human resource (HR) management have received much attention during the recent decades. In the 2000s, many researchers focused on studying the aspects of talent management in different organisations. Additionally, the concept of cultural diversity has also gained attention of researchers specialising in studying the approaches to managing people. The purpose of this paper is to identify the key researchers who have made the contribution to the fields of talent management and cultural diversity.

Talent management

Research in the United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom, there are several researchers who specialise in studying the topic of talent management and HR management. One of these key figures is Professor Paul Iles who researches the aspects of HR management and talent management at Glasgow Caledonian University, Scotland. His particular research interest is in international HR management, international talent management, and leadership. The principles of his approach to talent management were described in detail in the article written in cooperation with other authors (Iles, Preece & Chuai 2010). According to the authors’ opinion, talent management is a kind of a management fashion that only started to develop and form its components in the early 2010s.

Professor Paul Sparrow from Lancaster University, England, is another important contributor to researching talent management. His research interest includes talent management from the global perspective. Sparrow’s key statements were represented in many articles, including the work by Sparrow and Makram (2015). The main idea is that talent management is a specific “bridge field” based on HR management, the resource-based view and supply chain management. Thus, it requires HR managers to develop skills in attracting and managing people as talents.

Sir Cary Lynn Cooper performed as Professor of Organisational Psychology and Health at University of Manchester and Founding President of the British Academy of Management. His area of research interest includes successful talent management, stress management and work-life balance among other fields. According to the researcher, talent management is about helping managers to choose employees who are the best fit for their organisations (Cooper et al. 2016). One more researcher whose ideas have become important in recent years is Dr. Karin King from the Department of Management of the London School of Economics and Political Science, England. According to King (2015), talent management is a modern reality. Thus, HR managers need to pay attention to creating a talent-oriented environment in their organisations.

Research in the United States

In the United States, there are also many researchers who significantly contributed to the theory of talent management. Peter Cappelli is Professor of Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He also performs as Director of Wharton’s Center for Human Resources. Cappelli’s (2008) research interest is in studying approaches to retaining talents, examining specifics of talent management in the 21st century, and determining practical challenges in this area. John Boudreau from University of Southern California is another well-known researcher in the field of HR management. The scope of his research interests includes sustainable competitive advantage, talent management and global HR management. Boudreau (2010) developed the idea of talentship in the area of HR and accentuated the importance of HR managers’ decisions when they select individuals to hire to ensure they choose real talents. Thus, the paradigm of talentship is important for understanding the concept of talent management.

Jeffrey Pfeffer is a famous theorist and the Thomas D. Dee II Professor of Organisational Behaviour at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University. His contribution to the area of management, including HR management and talent management, is unique. Furthermore, his research interest covers such areas as leadership, management of talents and employees’ well-being. Pfeffer (2001) predicted the importance of attracting talents to organisations. He also proposed a strategy of how to make the process less painful for HR managers and companies.

Cultural diversity

Research in the United Kingdom

Cultural diversity related to HR management is a topic for not many researchers in the United Kingdom. One of these researchers is Peter Reilly who works at Institute for Employment Studies, England. The aspect of employees’ culture in organisations is only one of Reilly’s (2015) multiple research interests. According to the author, managing diversity, it is possible to improve the HR function in organisations. Hilary Harris from Cranfield University specialises in studying globalising human resources from the perspective of accentuating cultural diversity (Harris, Brewster & Sparrow 2005), female management and HR discrimination issues. The contribution of Professor Chris Brewster from Henley Business School, University of Reading, England, to researching cultural diversity in relation to HR management should also be discussed. He focused on studying cultural diversity in the context of talent management (Brewster & Cerdin 2014). These researchers contributed a lot to HR management at the global arena, discussing the impact of cultures on HRM processes in organisations.

Research in the United States

In the United States, cultural diversity in HRM has become interesting to researchers only in a recent period, and the examination of the topic is closely associated with other areas of HRM and other fields. Julian Chun-Chung Chow works at University of California, Berkeley, and his particular research interest is in cultural competence, intercultural interactions, and cultural diversity (Chow & Austin 2008). Michael J. Austin is the Professor at University of California, Berkeley, who is interested in researching social service management, organisational development, and cultural interactions (McBeath & Austin 2014). Benjamin J. Broome is the Professor at Arizona State University who studied cultural diversity in relation to diverse working environments and conflict management (Broome et al. 2002). These authors did not concentrate on examining cultural diversity as a separate subject.

Another group of researchers that will be discussed in this paper paid much attention to investigating the diversity in HRM. Dianna Stone worked at University at Albany, New York, and her research interests cover cultural diversity in HRM, stigmatisation and electronic HRM. Her contribution to research on cultural diversity is in claiming that cultural differences are the key aspects for HR managers to pay attention to in modern HRM (Stone & Deadrick 2014). Dr. Marilyn Y. Byrd from the University of Oklahoma specialises in diversity and inclusion in the workplace (Byrd & Scott 2018). Her research has also made a significant contribution to the theory of HRM and diversity.

Researchers to Focus On

Among the mentioned key researchers, much attention should be paid to the works by Broome et al. (2002), Cappelli (2008), Chow and Austin (2008), Sparrow and Makram (2015), and Reilly (2015). The reason is that, the ideas of these researchers can be used when planning and conducting a new study in the field of realising talent management in the context of cultural diversity. Thus, the articles by Cappelli (2008) and Sparrow and Makram (2015) provide the basic definitions and understanding of the concept of talent management in the HR management sphere.

Additionally, the works by Broome et al. (2002), Chow and Austin (2008) and Reilly (2015) are important to add to the understanding of how the concept of cultural diversity can influence the specifics of HR management, and talent management in particular. Therefore, in order to conduct a research study on the aspects and challenges of implementing talent management in culturally diverse organisations, it is necessary to refer to the articles by these mentioned researchers as key theorists in this field. The search for influential researchers in talent management and cultural diversity indicates that talent management is more researched, and cultural diversity is an under-researched area in comparison to HR and talent management.


A close review of studies in the fields of talent management and cultural diversity has allowed for identifying key authors in these spheres with a focus on research in the United Kingdom and the United States. These authors were grouped with reference to the country, and their research interests were determined. It has been found out that many researchers specialising in HR management are also interested in talent management. However, the number of researchers who determine cultural diversity as an area of their particular interest is rather limited. Furthermore, it is problematic to find studies, in which the implementation of talent management practices could be discussed in the context of a cultural diverse organisation and the idea of cultural diversity in general.

Reference List

Boudreau, JW 2010, Retooling HR: using proven business tools to make better decisions about talent, Harvard Business School Press, Boston, MA.

Brewster, C & Cerdin, JL, 2014, ‘Talent management and expatriation: bridging two streams of research and practice’, Journal of World Business, vol. 49, no. 2, pp. 245-252.

Broome, B, DeTurk, S, Kristjansdottir, E, Kanata, T & Ganesan, P 2002, ‘Giving voice to diversity: an interactive approach to conflict management and decision-making in culturally diverse work environments’, Journal of Business & Management, vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 239-241.

Byrd, M & Scott, C 2018, Diversity in the workforce: current issues and emerging trends, Routledge, New York, NY.

Cappelli, P 2008, Talent on demand: managing talent in the age of uncertainty, Harvard Business Press, Boston, MA.

Chow, JC & Austin, M 2008, ‘The culturally responsive social service agency: the application of an evolving definition to a case study’, Administration In Social Work, vol. 32, no. 4, pp. 39-64.

Cooper, C, Michie, J, Sparrow, P & Hird, M 2016, Do we need HR?: repositioning people management for success, Springer, London.

Harris, H, Brewster, C & Sparrow, P 2005, ‘Towards a new model of globalizing human resource management’, International Journal of Human Resource Management, vol. 16, no. 6, pp. 953-974.

Iles, P, Preece, D & Chuai, X 2010, ‘Talent management as a management fashion in HRD: towards a research agenda’, Human Resource Development International, vol. 13, no. 2, pp. 125-145.

King, KA 2015, ‘Global talent management: introducing a strategic framework and multiple-actors model’, Journal of Global Mobility: The Home of Expatriate Management Research, vol. 3, no. 3, pp. 273-288.

McBeath, B & Austin, MJ 2014, ‘Improvisation in human service management and scholarship’, Human Service Organizations: Management, Leadership & Governance, vol. 38, no. 3, pp. 193-198.

Pfeffer, J 2001, ‘Fighting the war for talent is hazardous to your organization’s health’, Organizational Dynamics, vol. 29, no. 4, pp. 248-259.

Reilly, P 2015, ‘Managing across borders and cultures’, Strategic HR Review, vol. 14, no. 1/2, pp. 36-41.

Sparrow, PR & Makram, H 2015, ‘What is the value of talent management? Building value-driven processes within a talent management architecture’, Human Resource Management Review, vol. 25, no. 3, pp. 249-263.

Stone, DL & Deadrick, DL 2014, ‘Human resource management: past, present, and future’, Human Resource Management Review, vol. 3, no. 24, pp. 193-195.

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